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Beaver Meadow Falls (NY)

1999 Jon Binder

Overview

Ratings (Ratings Explained)
Power: 4/10
Beauty: 9/10
Ease of Access: 3/10

The 60 foot Beaver Meadow Falls is reached by a beautiful hike of about 3 miles, requiring about an hour and forty minutes. It is best appreciated as part of the "Waterfalls Hike".

Photos

Beaver Meadow Falls in low-moderate water (1999)
Beaver Meadow Falls in high water (2000)
Beaver Meadow Falls in moderate water (2001)
East Branch Ausable River in high water
Wedge Brook Falls (bottom)
Wedge Brook Falls (middle)
Wege Brook Falls (upper)

Directions

From I-87:

To reach Beaver Meadow Falls, take NY 9 for 2.4 miles from Northway (I-87) exit 30. Continue through the "Spaghetti Intersection" north on NY 73 towards Lake Placid. 5.6 miles north of this intersecton, turn left at the gravel road of the Ausable Club (0.5 miles further along NY 73 is main access road for the Ausable Club). The public parking area is found here.

Description

Beaver Meadow Falls is best appreciated during the "Waterfalls Hike", but can also be a trip in itself.

From the parking area, walk along the gravel road, through the Ausable Club golf course, 0.5 miles to an intersection with the members' entrance road. The inn of the Ausable Club is in front of you (white and green building). Turn left by the tennis courts, and follow the road for about 0.25 miles to the gatehouse. Here, you should sign in, and inquire about trail conditions with the watchman. There are many ways to Beaver Meadow Falls from here, but I feel the most enjoyable is along the West River Trail. For this route, take a right at the gatehouse

Soon, you cross a bridge over the East Branch of the Ausable River to an intersection. When I was there, the force of the stream was incredible, and the mist shrouded the bridge so heavily, that I couldn't take a clear picture. Continue left for the West River Trail. Follow it upstream, generally along the River and with easy grades. After about 15 minutes, 0.6 miles from the gatehouse you reach an intersection: continue straight. After about a half and hour, 1.1 miles from the trailhead, you cross Pyramid Brook and come to another intersection. Continue straight again. There are some moderate pitches in this stretch, but the grade is mostly level. At 1.7 miles, almost an hour of walking brings you to an overlook of the river below.

At 2 miles, you cross Wedge Brook on a bridge between two small, but pretty, waterfalls. The lower falls is about 20 feet high. The base of this falls can be reached, with caution, by climbing down the steep bank before the bridge over Wedge Brook. The middle falls is the smallest of the 3, but is also the most beautiful. It is an exquisite little 8 foot straight drop into a pool right in front of the bridge. Immediately after the bridge over the brook is another junction. The West River Trail continues straight, but you may want to take a few steps up the trail to the right to view a nice 30 foot waterfall on Wedge Brook.

The hike continues, passing an impressive view of a 25 foot, powerful waterfall on the Ausable, before coming to Beaver Meadow Falls at 2.75 miles. It takes almost an hour and a half to reach the falls from the trailhead, plus about ten minutes to get to the trailhead from your car.

Beaver Meadow Falls is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful falls in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. It is a 60 foot falls, with a bridal veil like appearance. It has to be one of my favorite wateralls. The beautiful, easy hike required to reach it should not deter you from visiting this waterfall.

Notes

September 28, 1999

Two weeks after Hurricane Floyd tore through the Adirondacks, I decided to check out the area. As I hoped and expected, water levels were fairly high. Despite the many downed trees in the area, the trail was not too difficult to navigate, except in a few places. The destruction from the storm was interesting. The falls were beautiful as usual.

May 6, 2000

Today, I finally went on the hike I had been envisioning for a few years. I wanted to go on the "Waterfalls Hike" in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve just after the snow melt. (This hike includes Rainbow Falls and the Gill Brook Flume as well as Beaver Meadow Falls. The falls of Wedge Brook and other waterfalls are also passed on this wonderful 10 mile hike.) My timing was perfect! The weather was almost perfect (it rained a little), there was almost no ice or snow left, and the water was raging. I had thought that the water was high back in September after Floyd, but I was wrong. Check out the picture of the falls with high water.

May 20, 2001

I went on my second annual "Waterfalls Hike" today. The water flow was nowhere near as high as on my last visit, due to the dry spring we've been having here in the Northeast. However, all the falls were flowing nicely, and I got a new shot of the falls that looks good.

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Page Last Revised: February 9, 2002